Australia: Muslim leaders fear rise of Islamophobia after Eid party is blamed for spread of virus

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jun 25, 2020, 03.52 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Australia Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Eid party, that took in a family residing in Coburg, was blamed for the increase in the number of cases. The family was announced as a new cluster June 14. 

As Australia was hit by a second wave of coronavirus, local media reports stated that the country experienced a rise in number of cases due to an Eid party that took place in Melbourne.

Following such reports, Muslim leaders are fearing an increase in the underling issue of Islamophobia due to the local media reports.

“I’m really concerned, I’m thinking ‘here we go again’, scapegoating, marginalising, unfairly stigmatising the Muslim community,” said Adel Salman, the vice-president of the Islamic Council of Victoria told local news media.

Also watch: Fear of 2nd COVID-19 wave infections in Australia

“It just plays into the same narrative that Muslims are untrustworthy, that they aren’t like us, that they flout our rules, that they don’t have Australia’s interests at heart … Either they are a threat because they want to kill us and attack us or they are a threat because they are propagating the virus. It’s the same narrative.

“The Muslim community, we have been through this so often for many many years.”

The Eid party, that took in a family residing in Coburg, was blamed for the increase in the number of cases. The family was announced as a new cluster June 14. 

The infection is believed to have spread from that family to their extended family spread between Melbourne’s north and south-east. 

The misinformation spread like wildfire on social media, especially in languages other than English. Victoria’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, claimed that while his office was trying their best to contain such sensitive misinformation, posts spreading on social media, in languages other than English, were hard for them to track.

The government has urged citizens and local media to not spread any such rumours that can potentially harm any community.